What Are The Criteria For Going Into a Care Home?

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The idea of going into a care home can be extremely daunting to an elderly person, and even for family members. Despite the upset involved in making the decision to move towards a care home, it’s important to assess your options carefully and always include your elderly family member in any decisions. Remember, their wishes are paramount. 

Care home could be an option for any elderly person who is struggling with personal care, such as washing themselves, dressing, taking their daily medication or going to the toilet. This can also be an option for anyone who is struggling to live by themselves and who don’t have the right circumstances to move in with a family member. Before any decision is made, a care needs assessment needs to be carried out. 

Anyone elderly person or the family of an elderly person can request a care needs assessment and these are carried out free of charge. You can request directly from your local authority or via your GP/carer. The elderly person will then be reviewed and assessed and a decision will be made as to whether a care home is a good option for them. 

For anyone who is struggling to live by themselves, has complex care needs or a complicated medical problem, a care home is a positive option. This helps to ease the worry from family members and ensures that the elderly person in question and live in a state of dignity, peace, comfort, and also meet other people their own age for companionship. 

What is The National Criteria?

In order to be eligible to enter into a care home, a person needs to meet certain criteria. This covers a range of topics and stages and in order to meet the criteria two or more of the following need to be met: 

  • Is the person able to feed themselves, consume beverages themselves, and are they able to cook or access adequate nutrition without problems?
  • Can the person look after their personal hygiene needs, e.g. dress themselves easily and wash themselves without major problems?
  • Is the person able to go to the toilet without assistance?
  • Is the person able to keep the house safe and are they able to keep it clean, either by themselves or with help from someone else?
  • Are they able to move around their home without problems, and are there any risks involved?
  • Are they able to maintain connections to family members and other social links? Or, are they in a state of isolation?

These criteria are assessed in various different ways and it may be that some are assessed via questioning, small tasks which they ask the person to do in front of them, or simply by watching how the person moves around in their own home. From that, the results are classed into low, moderate, substantial, or critical. 

Assessing the Options 

It is vital that if you think moving into a care home might be the best option for your elderly relative, that you discuss this with them in as much detail as you can. Remember, as far as possible, this is their decision and their wishes must be taken into account. You cannot force someone to move into a care home and opening up and discussing your concerns and exploring the idea together will make the possible transition far easier on everyone concerned. 

The issue should be discussed and the wishes of the elderly person should be taken into account. Of course, there are other options to explore, aside from care homes. You could think about making modifications to their home, having a live in carer helping with day to day running of the household and general care duties, or having a carer call into the home on a set number of days per week. 

It’s important that you explore all options and don’t simply assume that a care home is the only option. This is usually considered the last resort, and it’s worthwhile looking at other choices before making this very serious decision. 

Despite that, if a care home is the right choice for your elderly relative, it’s important to find the right care home for their needs. You can do this by visiting as many homes in the local areas possible and reading up on their services in as much detail as you possibly can. This is not a decision you should take lightly and it’s something which requires detailed thought and exploration. 

Maintaining Sensitivity And Dignity at All Times

Remember, an elderly person will feel extremely sensitive about any modifications if you might want to make to their lifestyle, and they’re more than likely going to feel worried and possibly even embarrassed about the situation. 

Old age comes to us all, and it’s important to treat the situation with sensitivity and always allow your elderly relative the respect and dignity they deserve. Involve them in every part of the process and always listen to what they have to say. It’s likely that you will meet a certain amount of resistance, but working around this and through it is better than putting your foot down and demanding a certain outcome. Remember, this is your elderly person’s life, not a quick decision that is yours to make alone. 

Involving the elderly in decisions about their long-term care is something which needs to be focused on. The long-term outlook for a person who has been belittled into a decision against their wishes is not positive. However, if they feel able to make a decision with the support of their family and loved ones and one which they are comfortable and happy with, they will thrive and enjoy their twilight years, perhaps even surrounded with other people their own age in a care home. 

If you are worried about an elderly relative, you can request a care assessment at any time, and from there you will have the information which you can explore to make a decision, with everyone involved.